The fight in which Mike Towell suffered fatal injuries should ‘never have taken place’, an accident inquiry has found.
The Scottish fighter tragically lost his life in September 2016 due to severe bleeding and swelling on the brain, a day after he was knocked out by Welsh fighter Dale Evans.
An inquiry concluded that had Towell been ‘open and honest’ to the British Boxing Board of Control about a history of seizures, it would have been ‘highly unlikely’ he would have been cleared to fight.
Towell was advised by three different doctors in 2014 to stop boxing after suffering suspected seizures.
The 25-year-old did not disclose this information to a qualified doctor appointed by the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBofC) when examined in 2014, 2015 and 2016.
The inquiry found the BBBofC did not check with Towell’s GP to confirm he had no underlying conditions.
The inquiry made the following recommendations to the BBBofC to better protect fighters’ health and well being:
- The BBBC should send a copy of each boxer’s latest medical examination form to their GP
- It should seek confirmation from the GP or medical professional that the information is ‘complete and accurate’
- The GP should provide details of any relevant medical history of the boxer which may be relevant to his fitness to box
Sheriff Principal Craig Turnbull said the following in a written judgement.
‘Regrettably, it appears that Mr Towell’s love of boxing caused him to ignore the advice of doctors and not to accept the medical condition he had been diagnosed as suffering from,’ Sheriff Turnbull said.
‘Had Mr Towell been open and honest with the doctors who carried out his annual BBBofC medical examinations, it is highly likely that he would not have been licensed to box from at least 2014 onwards.
‘Indeed, it is possible, although not certain, that he may never have been licensed to box professionally.’
Sheriff Turnbull also made a point to assure Evans, Turnbull’s opponent, was not at fault in any way for his death.